Negligent discharge kills officer during range training (VIDEO)

I recently learned of yet another accidental negligent discharge.  Unfortunately, this time someone died.

According to news reports, a police officer was shot during firearms training when another officer was unloading his weapon.  The gun discharged, hit a bench and ricocheted into the officer.  The officer was hit in the side, thus bypassing his body armor.

My heart goes out to the family and friends of the fallen officer.  I can’t even imagine the emotional hurt associated with the entire incident, let alone the officer who pulled the trigger.  He deserves our support and prayers, not ridicule.

Even so, this is a good reminder that we can never be too cautious when it comes to firearms safety.  While we don’t want to go to extremes and make range training actually unsafe for real world applications, we ought to remember vital rules of gun safety.

Guns aren’t toys.  They’re tools.  They’re tools that can be fun on the range and tools that are meant to protect.  Negligence cannot be a part of our routine.  In fact, we cannot afford to be negligent, even once, when handling firearms.

With that in mind, here’s a reminder of the four core weapons safety rules that will help keep each of us safe, whether at home, on the range, or wherever we may be.

  1. Treat all guns as if always loaded.
  2. Never point at anyone or anything you’re not willing to kill or destroy.
  3. Keep your finger straight and off the trigger until you’re ready to fire.
  4. Know your target, backstop and beyond.

I don’t know the full story of what happened.  There will be an investigation.  Even if we follow all these rules, there are other things that can cause injury or death, but these four rules ought to be committed to memory and practiced all the time.

Until next time, continue to hone your skills, keep adding to your tactical toolbox, and never—ever—be careless or unsafe when it comes to handling firearms.

The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position of Guns.com.